Randomized controlled trial of the Alexander Technique for idiopathic Parkinson's disease

Stallibrass, C., Sissons, P. and Chalmers, C. 2002. Randomized controlled trial of the Alexander Technique for idiopathic Parkinson's disease. Clinical Rehabilitation. 16 (7), pp. 695-708.

TitleRandomized controlled trial of the Alexander Technique for idiopathic Parkinson's disease
AuthorsStallibrass, C., Sissons, P. and Chalmers, C.
Abstract

Objective: To determine whether the Alexander Technique, alongside normal treatment, is of benefit to people disabled by idiopathic Parkinson's disease.

Design: A randomized controlled trial with three groups, one receiving lessons in the Alexander Technique, another receiving massage and one with no additional intervention. Measures were taken pre and post-intervention, and at follow-up, six months later.

Setting: The Polyclinic at the University of Westminster, Central London.

Subjects: Ninety-three people with clinically confirmed idiopathic Parkinson's disease.

Interventions: The Alexander Technique group received 24 lessons in the Alexander Technique and the massage group received 24 sessions of massage.

Main outcome measures: The main outcome measures were the Self-assessment Parkinson's Disease Disability Scale (SPDDS) at best and at worst times of day. Secondary measures included the Beck Depression Inventory and an Attitudes to Self Scale.

Results: The Alexander Technique group improved compared with the no additional intervention group, pre-intervention to post-intervention, both on the SPDDS at best, p = 0.04 (confidence interval (CI) -6.4 to 0.0) and on the SPDDS at worst, p = 0.01 (CI -11.5 to -1.8). The comparative improvement was maintained at six-month follow-up: on the SPDDS at best, p = 0.04 (CI -7.7 to 0.0) and on the SPDDS at worst, p = 0.01 (CI -11.8 to -0.9). The Alexander Technique group was comparatively less depressed post-intervention, p = 0.03 (CI -3.8 to 0.0) on the Beck Depression Inventory, and at six-month follow-up had improved on the Attitudes to Self Scale, p = 0.04 (CI -13.9 to 0.0).

Conclusions: There is evidence that lessons in the Alexander Technique are likely to lead to sustained benefit for people with Parkinson's disease.

Reprinted by permission of Sage Publications Ltd from Stallibrass, Chloe and Sissons, P. and Chalmers, C. (2002), Clinical Rehabilitation, 16 (7). pp. 695-708. Copyright 2002 SAGE Publications (London, Thousand Oaks, CA and New Delhi)

JournalClinical Rehabilitation
Journal citation16 (7), pp. 695-708
ISSN0269-2155
YearJul 2002
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1191/0269215502cr544oa
Publication dates
PublishedJul 2002

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